Muse City is a dream world accessible only in groups of two or more people, and only when all members of the group are thinking or fantasizing about the others as they fall asleep. It then serves as a facilitator for any secret, shared desires of that group.
It is not known at this time whether Muse City has a persistent existence, or is generated spontaneously by those who visit it, nor even whether there is one Muse City, or many. Those who do visit it, however, unambiguously agree that Muse City is the name of the location they visited. None have ever seen anyone outside their group, even in locations that should logically be staffed (like in businesses).
It is not known whether Muse City is alive, though those who attempt to describe it tend to do so in terms of agency. It is not known whether Muse City is itself the dream of a city, and if so, what city or cities. It is not known whether cities dream at all. It is not known whether cities possess desires. It is not known whether Muse City is the product of those desires aligning upon dreaming, a macrocosm of the events that take place within it. It is only known that it exists, for certain values of existence, and the basic mechanics of how it works.
Emotions are powerful things. When emotions align with each other, miracles become possible. Thus it is that people who may not even be in the same location can spontaneously synchronize at the moment of falling asleep, if their thoughts are trained on each other. Much like the supercomputers in I, Robot can collude without communicating simply by understanding the other supercomputers, so can people.
Muse City appears to understand the desires and limits of all relevant parties, and only facilitates desires that they would all enjoy. This does not necessarily mean that those involved are willing to admit these desires in their waking life, even to theirselves. As such, Muse City tends to act as a kind of oracle, revealing previously-unknown shared desires. When these desires are openly known, they tend to manifest in a surprising way.
Any member of a group who experiences the desire to leave Muse City or stop the event from continuing causes them, and all other members, to simultaneously wake up. This can be quite jarring. It is, of course, possible to have a desire one is not ready or willing to admit even to oneself, and to have a desire one is not ready or willing to share with others.
That said, Muse City seems to be able to sense what it can safely push, and what it cannot, such that dreams only seem to end when harm would be caused by continuing. It may produce harrowing, difficult experiences for its members, but as if by definition, no-one seems to regret having gone through them.
Those who enter Muse City together are not immediately aware of each other, nor appear in the same location, nor appear in same part of the city on subsequent visits. They are, however, always drawn either to each other or an object or location that helps to facilitate their desires, though they may not realize what they are drawn to until they reach it. This means that sometimes, one person will follow another to a location by virtue of the first being drawn to the second, and the second being drawn to that location. The exact location people appear at does not appear to follow any pattern.
Muse City is not simply a world that responds to the whims of those who enter it. It transforms one or more members of the group into a metaphorical representation of the shared desire it intends to facilitate. Due to the nature of social interaction and the fraughtness of lust, these desires are frequently sexual or kink-related, but don't always have to be; purely platonic, non-kinky fantasies exist, and are also facilitated by Muse City.
If a desire results in recurring visits to Muse City, transformations can be similar or thematically related, but are usually not precisely the same, nor do they always happen to the same people.
Once they meet, any untransformed members of the group are usually compelled to action as facilitated by the transformations of the other members. It is unknown whether this is a compulsion enforced by Muse City, or simply its ability to know exactly how to spur its visitors to enacting their desires on others. Those who are compelled to act tend to later interpret their actions as taking advantage of having an important barrier removed from their ability to act on their desires.
In the event that the experience of a visit to Muse City isn't enough to push people towards what they want in the waking world, a perfect excuse is built in: It's just a dream. It doesn't really exist. Sometimes a desire is fleeting and leaves almost as quickly as it enters, and some experiences may only be singular, with no need to be revisited. Some never speak of their visits at all.
However, visits to Muse City have the habit of becoming recurring, as the vividness of a visit can cause visitors to become preoccupied with it, which may in turn cause another entry into Muse City, and so on, until the desire is acted upon in the waking world. Once it is, this recurring pattern tends to cease. Only a small percentage of recurring visits to Muse City become stable; some exist without anyone acting upon these desires in the waking world, and some have persisted even after acting upon them.
All events in the dream happen only in the dream, with the exception of bodily functions, though they are not guaranteed to wake up anyone who has one within Muse City. The physical evidence of it, of course, remains in the waking world, to be dealt with in the morning.
With rare, specific exceptions (such as it being the desire being facilitated), it is not possible to experience physical pain in Muse City, no matter how much damage one appears to take. Damage does not spontaneously heal, but subsequent visits to Muse City will not show evidence of previous visits.
In addition, the inhibition of visitors is usually suppressed, unless a feature of the desire being facilitated, by a semi-lucid state while visiting Muse City: Visitors may not know that they are in a dream, but nonetheless understand that their actions somehow have fewer permanent consequences than they appear, and are more easily spurred to action as a result.
Known examples of Muse City transformations include:
- Being transformed to be made of chocolate and candy. Facilitated being eaten. (FurAffinity, NSFW)
- Becoming a puppet on strings. Facilitated being suspended and controlled. (FurAffinity, NSFW)